I don't want you to grow up.
Is that not fair?
I don't want you to stop looking at me like I'm Superwoman. You make me feel like I can do anything, be anything.
I don't want you to stop climbing into my bed so that I feel your small feet rubbing against my back. It may wake me up in the wee hours, but it fills my heart with joy.
I don't want your squeaky little voice to change. It's perfect.
I don't want you to keep growing out of your shoes and clothes faster than I can buy them. One day you'll be as tall as I am, and some days I feel like that'll come faster than I could ever imagine.
I don't want you to stop using a pacifier or wanting a bottle of milk at bedtime. Because then you'll be a big girl and you won't be my baby anymore.
I don't want your "Mommy, will you lay with me?" requests to go away. You ask so nicely, your voice as sweet as can be. I've come to expect them each night (I'm sure I've take them for granted) but truth be told, if you didn't ask me tonight, my heart wouldn't be ready for it.
I don't want you to stop playing with your blocks and baby dolls in favor of "cooler" toys. Your innocence is so pure and so beautiful.
I don't want you to be embarrassed by me and my public displays of affection. I fear it'll break my heart.
I don't want you to push my hugs away. They are the best hugs in the world.
I don't want you to stop saying, "Mommy, guess what? I love you." It gets me every time.
I don't want you to stop needing me. Even though I often feel exhausted from it all, I don't want you to stop asking me for help when you need it. I take pride in being there for you. As your mama, it feels natural now to be giving so much of myself to you guys.
I don't want you to stop wanting to be around me.
I don't want you to stop loving me as much as you do now.
I'm afraid of you growing up. I'm afraid of my getting older. Because things will be different. I know I complain sometimes, because don't get me wrong—mothering three young children is no walk in the park—but I love our life. It's wonderful and messy and happy and complicated and joyful and frustrating. It's everything to me.
But as you're getting older, I am realizing things change and eventually our lives will look different. And change is never easy for me.
Who will I be when you don't need me as much?
What will I be needed for if it's not a hundred diaper changes a day, volunteering in your preschool class, or nursing nursing nursing my newborn?
Will I feel as validated as I do now, in my role of "mother to young children"?
What will I do with myself?
Sometimes I find myself with so many questions, and not much to show for answers.
So I'm going to stop worrying and overthinking.
Just kidding. That's not in my DNA.
What I am going to do is I'm going to try my best to live in this moment. To be here with you while you need me, while your squeaky voice shouts demands at me, while all you want is Mommy to do this, Mommy to watch me, Mommy to get that.
Being present and mindful is continuously hard for me. But so is motherhood—and I'll never give up on mommin', so I'll never give up on trying my best to savor these magical moments we share together every day. Even among the frustrations, hurriedness, and lack of patience.
I can't stop time, so the next best thing is truly being present for you while I still can.
The goal I proudly have as your mother is to raise brave, compassionate, kind, exceptional human beings. So here's a little secret—I do actually want you to grow up. I want you to grow into the amazing people you are and will continue to be.
I believe in my heart that you're each destined for greatness. One day I will marvel at the adults you've become. And I'll still be here for you—whatever you need.
Even though you may grow out of my arms, I know you'll never grow out of my life—or my heart.